Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Buffalo New York
1048 PM EDT sun Mar 16 2014
high pressure will build into the region tonight with clear skies
and light winds allowing temperatures to drop into the single
numbers with some of the colder areas of the southern tier and east
of Lake Ontario dropping below zero. Temperatures will remain below
average Monday before a moderating trend develops Tuesday and lasts
through much of the week. It will remain dry until Wednesday when a
cold front will bring a chance of rain showers.
Near term /through Monday/...
infrared satellite imagery this evening displays a storm system evolving
across the southern Middle Atlantic States...with just some middle and
high level clouds skirting across areas south of Lake Ontario. These
high clouds may be enough to prevent both Buffalo and Rochester from
reaching record low temperatures overnight...though in Watertown the
likelihood of reaching a record low is well within reach. More on
that in the paragraph below. Expect overnight lows to drop back into
the single digits...with below zero readings across the inland
southern tier and the north country. Several places in the north
country with aid from a fresh snow pack will drop back into the
negative teens. Light winds associated with an area of high pressure
just to our north and west will prevent any significant wind
chills...though overnight air temperatures will still be very
cold...especially by March standards.
On a climate note...these overnight lows will be nearing records
early Monday morning. The record low for Buffalo on Saint patrick's
day is -4/1885...Rochester 0/1885 and Watertown -3/1961. Watertown
has a good chance at breaking the record low...while Rochester will
come close. Buffalo's record might be too low to reach.
On Monday surface high pressure will remain in place across Quebec.
While temperatures will begin to warm aloft...the low level east and
northeast flow will keep a fresh feed of low level cold air going.
This will only allow temperatures to come up a little from today...but
still well below average with highs in the middle 20s across western New York
and the upper teens to lower 20s across the north country. There
should be at least some sunshine...although middle/high clouds will
increase through the day in response to warm advection aloft. Some
diurnal cumulus may also develop with daytime heating.
Short term /Monday night through Wednesday night/...
the surface pattern Monday night will feature high pressure from the
Hudson Bay south across the lower Great Lakes into the mid-Atlantic.
Far to the west a clipper will be shifting across the northern
plains. Cold air will remain in place Monday night across New York
with the region of high pressure keeping clear to partly cloudy
skies and a light easterly wind. This will make for another cold
night as decent radiational cooling occurs. Temperatures will fall into the
teens across much of western New York to sub-zero east of Lake
Ontario where more clearing will likely be found.
Tuesday we will see the surface high shift toward central Quebec and
New England while the clipper shifts towards Wisconsin. The flow
between these two systems across New York will be east to southeast
advecting warm air north across our forecast area. We will continue
to remain dry with mostly sunny skies for much of the day although
more in the way of high clouds may work across western counties
toward the days end. Temperatures look to rise near normal across much of
western New York with upper 30s to low 40s for highs. Central New
York and the North County will likely be stuck in the 30s. A decent
breeze will also develop as the pressure gradient tightens with the
approach of the western clipper. Tuesday night an increasing
southeasterly flow and cloudiness will help to keep mild temperatures in
place overnight. Feel that temperatures will only slip into the middle to
lower 30s western New York. East of Lake Ontario again clearer skies
and further proximity from the warmer southeasterly flow will feature
temperatures down into the lower 20s but much milder than previous nights.
Toward daybreak Wednesday models show at least a slight chance of
some precipitation across western New York. Highly dependent on
surface temperatures...rain or snow and rain in colder spots would fall if
any precipitation occurs.
The bulk of the weather will come Wednesday...the last day of
winter...as the clipper lifts across and north of the upper Great
Lakes. A cold front which will extend south from the system will
cross New York through the day. Precipitation will be brought across
our region forced by both a leading low level jet and trailing cold
front. Precipitable waters across the region ahead of this system will only run
about normal so not expecting anything heavy. As temperatures climb ahead
of the front Wednesday morning rain will overspread western New York
with a chance that any leading precipitation that falls across central New
York in still sub-freezing air could bring some snow and/or sleet. By
early afternoon temperatures climbing into the 40s to near 50 towards the
far west will be too warm for any frozen precipitation area wide. Winds
will be gusty through the day with the 50kt low level jet crossing
our region. Gusts look to stay just below Wind Advisory criteria.
Through Wednesday night the cold front will pass east into New
England. Lingering moisture will keep a chance of rain showers
changing to snow showers overnight as temperatures fall back into the
Long term /Thursday through Sunday/...
on Thursday we will welcome Spring with open arms at 1257pm. Behind
the cold front and clipper a modified Pacific sourced airmass help
keep our temperatures feel more springlike as a broad region of high
pressure over the central states shifts east. Some lingering
moisture and cooler air aloft may bring some diurnal instability
rain/snow showers on Thursday. Temperatures look to run near average with
highs rising into the 40s then temperatures falling only down into the
upper 20s overnight. The surface high will shift off the coast of
the southeast Friday. Models continue to show signs that another
clipper will shift across the Midwest and Ohio Valley Friday with a
warm front possibly reaching the western southern tier so have
chances of showers there Friday and dry elsewhere with another day
of near average temperatures.
Unfortunately the arrival of Spring does not guarantee average
temperatures for more than two or three days before another Arctic
blast ruins our hopes of a longer break from winter. Forecast models
diverge in tracking the clipper on Saturday. Anything from a track
just north of New York to well south of New York is possible at this
time so have a chance for rain showers at this time although a
further south track...which is the outlier may bring some snow. Have
keep temperatures near normal one last day but they could be cooler with
the outlining solutions verifying. By Sunday both GFS and European model (ecmwf)
models show a expansive Arctic high pressure area building south
across the central and eastern states. The origin of this air would
be from the high latitudes so temperatures on Sunday reflect below average
numbers with just a slight chance of snow.
Aviation /03z Monday through Friday/...
for the 00z tafs VFR flight conditions were found...and these
conditions are expected to persist through the 24-hour taf cycle.
There will be a few clouds...a low VFR/high end MVFR deck of lake
effect clouds southeast of Lake Ontario for a few hours but these clouds
should stay away from both the kroc and kart airfields. Also some
middle and high level clouds from a southern middle Atlantic storm system
will skirt by the southern tier...and also to about the southern
shoreline of Lake Ontario.
Light winds overnight will become northeasterly south of Lake
Ontario tomorrow...and light northerly across the north country.
Wednesday...areas of MVFR with rain showers.
Thursday and Friday...VFR/MVFR with a chance of rain/snow showers.
northwest winds will continue to diminish overnight as high
pressure builds from the upper lakes towards Quebec. Waves will
continue to subside through the overnight. Relatively light winds will
then continue Monday and Tuesday before southeast winds increase
later Tuesday night and Wednesday ahead of low pressure moving into
the upper lakes.